I never thought I’d be defending Rachel Ray, but… C’MON:
Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin complained that the scarf wrapped around her looked like a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress. ”The kaffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,” Malkin wrote in her syndicated column.
“Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons,” she said.
Amahl Bishara, an anthropology lecturer at the University of Chicago who specializes in media matters relating to the Middle East, said complaints about the scarf’s use in the ad demonstrate misunderstandings of Arab culture and the multiple meanings that symbols can take on depending on someone’s perspective.
“I think that a right-wing blogger making an association between a kaffiyeh and terrorism is just an example of how so much of the complexity of Arab culture has been reduced to a very narrow vision of the Arab world on the part of some people in the U.S.,”
No, it’s not a case of Arab culture being reduced to a very narrow vision, it’s a case of a belligerent right wing commentator complaining about absolutely nothing and a clueless company taking her seriously. The correct response is to mock Dunkin’ Donuts for their stupidity.